Global pollution is one of the major dangers to our world and could pose existential threat to the survival of mankind. In order to raise awareness to this major problem, a group of Stanford journalism students launched a new virtual reality experience called “Ripple: the unintended life of plastics in the sea”. The VR experience features the photography of artist and conservationist Mandy Barker and is viewable at https://rippleplastic.com/.
Ripple’s main idea is to show how ubiquitous, insidious and long-lasting plastic can be in our world by immersing viewers into a galaxy of garbage. Mandy Barker’s photographs are transformed into a VR experience focusing awareness on pollution from plastics in the ocean.
In April of 2018, a team of eight Stanford Journalism students, under the guidance of Professor Geri Migielicz, joined together to create this experience. Barker was supportive of the project from the beginning, excited at the prospect of her work taking on new life and reaching more people through this immersive medium. Barker supplied original files for four of her composite photographs for the project.
This project was written in A-Frame, a web framework from Mozilla that uses Web.VR, to bring virtual reality to any web device, including laptops, phones, and virtual reality headsets, including Google Cardboard.
“It will be really exciting to see how this new format delivers and connects with people both in the museum and at home on their personal devices,” says Freedman.
Besides designing the experience, Freedman also produced and composed original music for the VR experience.